Sumter National Forest
Sumter National Forest is one of two forests in South Carolina
that are managed together by the United States Forest Service, the other
being the Francis Marion National Forest.
The Sumter National Forest
consists of 370,442 acres which are divided into several non-contiguous
sections in western South Carolina. Overall, in descending order of land
area the forest is located in parts of Oconee, Union, Newberry,
McCormick, Edgefield, Abbeville, Laurens, Chester, Fairfield, Greenwood,
and Saluda counties.
Forest headquarters of both South Carolina forests
are located together in the state's capital city of Columbia.
In July, 1936, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed the Sumter
a separate National Forest. The Sumter is named for Thomas Sumter, a
leader of rebel partisan forces in the South Carolina piedmont during
the American Revolution and war hero.
The lands that became the Sumter
were predominantly eroding old farm fields and gullies or extensively
logged forests. Once the lands became part of the Sumter, the process of
controlling soil erosion, regulating the flow of streams and the
production of timber began.
Over time, the land has been slowly restored
and has become productive again.
Andrew Pickens Ranger District
The Andrew Pickens Ranger District is situated in the mountains of
northwest South Carolina in Oconee County. Local place names and streams
attest the Cherokee Indian heritage of the area, including the Chattooga,
Chauga, Cheohee, Tugaloo, Toxaway, Keowee, Oconee, Tamassee, and
Jocassee rivers or creeks.
The Ranger District is named for Andrew
Pickens, commander of South Carolina rebel militia during the American
Revolution. The ranger district offices are located in Mountain Rest.
The Sumter National Forest includes approximately 2,859 acres of the
Ellicott Rock Wilderness, the only wilderness to straddle three states
(South Carolina, Georgia, and North Carolina).
The Sumter also has, as
its western border, the Chattooga River, a Wild and Scenic River. The
Andrew Pickens District is also home to 15 waterfalls with drops ranging
from 12 feet to 75 feet.
Page 1 of 1